Samsung Confirms Smart Watch as Apple War Moves to Wrist

As fears mount that the smartphone market has become too saturated, a Samsung executive says the time has come to build a smart watch. If you think Samsung has concocted a wearable device just to counter the rumored Apple iWatch,  the executive VP of Samsung’s mobile business, Lee Young Hee, wants you to know that the company “has been preparing the watch product for so long.”

The Samsung exec also told Bloomberg that Samsung is “working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.” Samsung just recently introduced its first wearable gadget for 2013 in the S Band, a Fitbit-like wristband that will sync with the S Health application in the upcoming Galaxy S4 smartphone. A Samsung smart watch, however, would be able to do much more than tracks steps taken and calories burned.

MORE: Smartwatches: Why Their Time Has Finally Come

 

According to a separate Reuters report, the Samsung smart watch will perform many of the tasks of the smart phone, although the source wouldn’t elaborate. If other smart phone watches on the market are any guide, such as the Martian Watch and I’m Watch, we would expect the Samsung device to make calls, offer some fitness functions, as well as deliver news and social updates at a glance. It’s also possible that Samsung will court developers to make apps for its watch, which could help the brand be even less reliant on Google’s services.

Meanwhile, Apple’s watch is said to offer many of the same features, with Bloomberg adding that the iWatch could also let you check your map coordinates and monitor your heart rate. 

Given that the stocks of Apple and Samsung are both struggling, the presumed hope is that forging into the smart watch category could be a huge new growth area. In fact, Citigroup estimates the global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales in 2013. And according to ABI Research, 485 million wearable devices will ship annually by 2018.

AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Ronald Says:

    Probably will go over like the mini-CD and LED watches.

  2. Bobh Says:

    Dick Tracy was so far ahead of technology however, kids today don’t even know who he was!

  3. hador_nyc Says:

    Bobh, Dick Tracy was a cartoon. This is real…

    Ronald, the Pebble watch, which I own, had a Kickstarter pre-order of 85,000, with many more sold after they closed the Kickstarter campaign. while that is not millions, that is not 0 either.

    IMHO, this design is too functional. I like the Pebble watch particularly for the simplicity of it. The screen is too small to try to do too much.

  4. Adam Says:

    The vast majority of watches are purchased for design/style, not functionality. This ridiculous looking device is going to flop; there’s nothing “cool” about a bulky, white watch unless you’re 9 year old girl and said watch has a Hello Kitty logo on it. For all of the protests, I don’t know one person that doesn’t want to try Google Glass; it is exponentially more innovative and stylish than a watch. Who is running the development arms of these smart-watch companies?

    Oh yeah, tech nerds that think North Face is proper formal wear.

  5. Marc Says:

    Actually Adam… you are wrong….

    You do realize people are moving more and more to tablet sized devices, right?

    These devices are 6,7, 9, 10, 11 inches….

    This particular device may fail but the concept will not because people are starting to put their tablets in their bags but they aren’t going to want to take them out for every single thing they do… that is where this type of smart watch will come into play.. it will be the link to your tablet.

    You talk about google glass in a positive way but put down this? I think that’s hysterical.. google glass isn’t going to be an accepted part of a society that still values privacy. How much power do you want google to have?

  6. TJ Says:

    Adam..you know that watch is an artists rendering, right?

  7. stick in the mud Says:

    Adam, i don’t want to try the google glasses. so there. now you know one person.

  8. Koiavar Says:

    It’s about time! :) This is what I’ve been waiting for. No more losing my phone

  9. Yeah Says:

    So you’re saying they can only make these in huge-size and only in white? I would take a small smart-watch on my wrist over a bulky smartphone in my pocket any day.

    I don’t know anyone who *wants* to try Google glass and I personally don’t want to look like, and virtually become, a cyborg. The fact that you even us the term “proper formal wear” shows the type of person you are (or desperately want to be). Hint: Everything you are currently wearing will be made fun of in 10 or less years; only delusional pompous idiots try to be “stylish” and criticize “improper dress.”

  10. hw00d Says:

    GAWWWWWWWWWWWW……more fashionable tracking devices polluting your health w/ Hi-Freq rf waves, Electromagnetic garbage, RFID and explosive lithium paks….ewww-weee, be the 1st on your block to get one!!!

    u can take the glasses, take the watches, take the wi-fi radiation, take the RFID tracking jewelery…..and throw that illicit crap in a lake. SAY NO TO PRIVACY INVASION!!!

  11. FreeYourMind Says:

    I can’t wait for this. It’s a godsend to working people, who can’t afford to drop their phones when they get a call on the job. Dropping the hand phones off a ladder, into a bucket, into the toilet, on the floor, etc. happens all the time. Also great for outdoorspeople so their hands will be free. Imagine a phone that your can’t drop, lose, or have stolen! We had a cell phone watch from China but it didn’t work, so I am looking forward to one that does work.

  12. Jim Says:

    Makes no sense. The youth don’t wear watches anymore due to having their stupid phones glued to their hands so how do they think they will sell this.

  13. Tim Says:

    Jim, you just answered your own question. This is exactly why these companies are looking into this market because the Youth crowd generally don’t wear watches (they use their phone clocks). So they are taking advantage of a market niche that is untapped right now with a huge market potential. Kid’s love tech, they will flock to the stores to get these things, regardless of how silly they might appear.

  14. MDD Says:

    Actually, a lot of younger people use watches – more of a fashion statement, but they use them. Do some homework. Good talk.

  15. Martin Says:

    I don’t see this as a mega-mass-market product, like the iPhone.

    It might ship to fitness fans, and the odd person needing handsfree at all times, but other than that I think it’s about as likely to succeed as the calculator watch.

    I think most people would choose Google Glass, ahead of a large wrist-based product. I could be wrong, so please don’t flame me for venturing my opinion. If Samsung or Apple are relying on this to move the volume needle, I think they’ll be sorely disappointed.

  16. John C Says:

    I remember when two inch LCD “pocket TVs” came out in the ’80s. All the rage then but now it’s all about big screen TVs. Smaller is not the same as better, “new” is not synonymous with “improved”.

  17. Tony Says:

    The ‘need’ is being created right in front of your very eyes.

  18. Brewski Says:

    Does anybody even wear a watch anymore? I haven’t for years.

    Also, I’m not so concerned about that missed text or tweet or FB post that I need yet another thing telling me.

    Smart watches appear to be a grand fail to me.

  19. MDD Says:

    You’re a grand fail.

  20. az Says:

    Thanks for the popup ad at the bottom of your image, laptopmag. I really apprecite having more advertising crammed down my throat.

  21. Larry Says:

    Please make a wristwatch with an MP3 player, micro SD slot up to 32gb and blutooth so I can listen to music and not worry about dropping my phone, crushing it under a stack of weights etc. I don’t even care if it tells time, just make it around 100.00, water / sweat proof and rechargable with good battery life. The current competion has nothing with reliability, durability, or battery life worth squat.

  22. Phil Says:

    If one could put on a watch and leave the smartphone at home, why wouldn’t they? A watch, a bluetooth, and dropbox you’re done. Not good for editing but for looking up a piece of data, texting (voice), payments, etc.. the uses are many.

  23. Mr.Fitnah Says:

    How about a Flav O Flav style wall clock watch ?

  24. johnnyC Says:

    Actually you couple the phone with voice recognition and you will see people making calls and sending texts and emails through their watch.

  25. David Sutherland Says:

    Who wants to wear a digital watch? Let’s get realistic. I WANT A FOREARM SHIELD OF DIGITAL WONDER!

    What nerd wouldn’t wear that?

    Just needs some celebrity endorsements… oh yeah, and to be useful, and you’ve got a runaway trend.

  26. Lance Says:

    Used in combination with OLED technology may be the direction they are heading. Where the pad can be removed from the wrist when needed for full operation. Apple is a dying fad with it’s creator gone at this stage. There was only one Steve Jobs. The next tech craze will not come from Apple.

  27. Rich Says:

    Make the screen bigger, pair it with google glass and make typing w/o voice easy; and that’s a pretty plausible loadout for everyday. Wearable tech is the future, but not sure how you can evolve past a pip-boy style device.

  28. Fred R Says:

    It will fail. Just pretend that you are wearing one right now on your left wrist:
    1. You would resent having no flexibility to move it from hand to hand. Angle is very limited; difficult to hide screen from sun and other eyes.
    2. Carpal tunnel (or similar) from having to cock you arm into one awkward position.
    3. Only one hand for screen control (actually would be difficult to use anything but right thumb.
    4. Unreadable for 40+ and other near-sighted who can’t see up close without glasses.
    5. People would always be taking them off to obviate some of these problems, which would be clumsy.
    6. Your wrist would be constantly sweaty.
    Interesting, but I think it’s doubtful it will fly.

  29. Sara Says:

    I want one of these for my mother. This way when she falls down and can’t get up, whether in or out of he house, she’ll be able to call for help. Sure she has a cell phone in her purse, but she never has it on. If the only way to get the clock function to work, is to power it on, she’s more likely to have it on. And if they incorporate some of the features of a medical alert device that can detect when a person suddenly collapses from a heart attack and automatically call 911, it will be even better.

  30. dr bugsy Says:

    Never bought Apple. Never will.

  31. RobertX Says:

    Samsucks the “me too” company. Never give them my money if I can help it. I do know this, Apples will be better.

  32. Jaime Lopez Says:

    Nokia 4YEARS AGO give to the world a video about a smartwatch and an smartphone, we will have the choice to pick one of them when in the market, the phone is exceptional its can use as phone or as bracelet or watch it will be very malleable material the camara will be so incredible that when you zoom the pictures you actually will feel the shape form and way of what it’s zoomed, just a while away to show in the market.
    Sonny have a computer watch already and please for fuck sake stop the adulation of Apple they are nothing but a third string phone company, really…

  33. Will Says:

    My, my. All these good plastic sheeple ………

  34. Lightofsolomon Says:

    I foresee an aging population with cancer of the wrist.

  35. BrianC Says:

    When I can play DoDonPachi or AI War on my phone I’ll literally chop off my own legs, buy a power chair, get government money and enjoy life. Of course, selling out my beliefs and becoming a raging liberal would be hard at first but, DoDon-F******-Pachi watch!

  36. vaughn Says:

    wonder if it comes w a lead lining over you wrist?

  37. Smack Dab Says:

    Grand fail? I sure could use one…in black, thank you! Yeah, if it can link to my smart phone…works for me! Good idea. Oh yeah, the iPod and tablets were supposed to fail too.

  38. GogogoStopSTOP Says:

    hw00d Says: “ELECTROMAGNETIC GARBAGE…” Do you have any idea of the energy we absorb each minute, nay, each second, from showers caused by GCR’s? Radio’s, etc, are nothing!

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